Tue, Jul 03, 2012
Had Stayed Behind While Helicopter Took Lost Hikers To Safety
A Utah Highway Patrol flight officer fell to his death Saturday after assisting in the rescue of two teenage hikers who became stranded on Mount Olympus in Salt Lake County, UT.
The 13-year veteran had been on a SAR mission to locate the hikers, who had been found on a cliff on the Mount Olympus Trail. Aaron Beesley, 34, stayed behind on the cliff while the helicopter pilot took the hikers to safety Saturday afternoon.
But when the pilot returned to pick up Beesley, he was unable to locate him. Television station KSL reports that he was later found at the bottom of a 90-foot cliff, on his back and unconscious. Rescue crews took about 45 minutes to get to the site.
Efforts to revive Beesley were unsuccessful. There were no witnesses to the fall, but a UPD official said that it looked like Beesley was reaching for his backpack when he lost his footing on the cliff. In a news conference, Sheriff Jim Winder said "This trooper died in the line of duty while engaged in a heroic effort, the rescue of two individuals."
(File photo of Utah State Highway Patrol helicopter)
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